Category: Padraig Harrington

September 17, 2013

Harrington's swing coach takes blame for Paddy's slump

Posted at 1:22 PM by Josh Sens

Cowen_300Paralysis by analysis.

Many say that's been the problem for Padraig Harrington in his long quest to reclaim his world-beating form.

Harrington himself accepts the diagnosis.

But his swing coach is also taking some of the blame.

Speaking with the British press this week, Pete Cowen [right] made this blunt admission.

"It's my fault. I made one comment which he took to heart," said Cowen, a respected instructor who started working with Harrington last year. "Padraig doesn't just want to be a great player, he wants to be a great ball striker. He was hitting a pull-cut which was great for him, but he wanted to hit it more solid so I told him he was opening his shoulders too quickly. It was just a throwaway line, but I wish I'd never said it. Whatever it took, at whatever cost, he was going to sort that. When you're making changes you need your short game to be red hot to cover it. But unfortunately it hasn't been."

A relentless tinkerer, the 42-year-old Harrington bears only faint resemblance to the player who claimed three majors in 13-month span. He has not won a full-field event since 2010, and after missing the cut at the KLM Open last week, he dropped out of the list of top 60 players who qualify for the European Tour's Race to Dubai.

His woes are yet another reminder that golf's famous demons don't discriminate.

They can haunt the world's best players in the same way they bedevil the rest of us.

Photo: Getty Images


June 26, 2013

Harrington: Anchored putting not cheating until 2016

Posted at 9:49 PM by Mike Walker

Paddy_300Padraig Harrington has a philosophical position on anchored putting: he believes that anchoring is counter to the spirit of the game, but he intends on anchoring until the putting stroke is banned on Jan. 1, 2016. He drew this distinction in an interview in the July issue of Golf Magazine.

The proposed ban on anchored putting would take effect in 2016. You have an unusual stance. You believe anchoring is against the spirit of the game, yet you made the switch in May. Why?

It's better for my putting. I saw all these long putters and thought, "Well, there must be something in it." I have a machine that monitors all this putting data, and I'm technically better with an anchored putter. I don't decelerate, and my [clubface] rotation is better. It helped give me confidence on short ones [at the Players Championship], so when I have a 20-footer, I'm not worried about knocking it three feet past.

You might not be able to use it for long.

Well, three years is a long time in pro golf.

Do you see it as cheating?

Look, it's not cheating. On one hand, I disagree with the anchored method. I really do. It's against the spirit of the game. It's not good for golf. It's controversial. It's a distraction. On the other hand, I'm a professional, and I've got to do everything I can within the rules to compete today. Sure, it will be banned in 2016, but by then I'll be 45 -- and how many guys win majors after 45? I feel a sense of urgency.

Interesting. So it's not cheating until the rules say that it's cheating?

Absolutely. I don't see any problem with it so long as it's within the rules. I'm a great believer of the rules. You live and die by the rules, and the rules say it's okay for now. It's no different than getting a legal drop that gets me away from the cart path and also away from a tree. I'm delighted! Am I gonna say, "No thanks, I don't want the drop -- I'll accept that I'm behind a tree." No way. The rules penalize me some days and help me on others.

In the interview, Harrington also talks about Rory McIlroy’s uneven play this season.

What's up with your fellow Irishman Rory McIlroy? Is he in a slump?

He has hot and cold spells. Remember, last summer he had a spell where he missed three or four cuts, then won three times late in the year. That's who Rory is.

Rory is compared to Tiger a lot, but maybe he's more like Phil Mickelson: very talented, very streaky.

And as Rory accepts that that's his style -- and he's starting to -- he'll start to peak more every week, because he won't push to make things happen. He'll relax, press less, let his game come to him. When he pushes for those results every week, he gets frustrated and it knocks his confidence back. And those weeks when he's on? He laps the field.

You can read the full interview here.

Photo: Harrington talks to the media Tuesday at the Irish Open (Getty Images).

May 28, 2013

Video: Padraig Harrington takes aim at range-picker

Posted at 5:27 PM by Coleman McDowell

Here's a pastime that's almost as old as the game itself: taking aim at the poor soul who's picking balls off the driving range while you practice.

Most golfers are wired the same way. Even if you can't even spell d-r-a-w, you line up a four-iron in the back of your stance and attempt to rip a sweeping hook that only rises 10 yards off the ground to nail the iron-clad range-picking cart some 150 yards down the fairway.

Once you have heard the satisfying "ding" of the dimples clanging against metal, you immediately crave more. (Thank goodness for the thin mesh lining of the cart that protects the driver from the elements.) So we understand Padraig Harrington's desire to search out the range-picker in the above ad campaign "Every Shot Imaginable" for the European Tour. It's only natural.

Harrington just happens to be a lot better than us at it.

May 03, 2013

Padraig Harrington says anchored putting should be banned (but he's still using a belly putter)

Posted at 6:06 PM by Josh Sens

HarringtonAdd Padraig Harrington’s name to the lengthening list of Tour pros who oppose long putters.

But while you’re at it, also toss him in among the growing ranks of players who have turned to an anchored putting stroke in tournament play.

In a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do moment this week at Quail Hollow Golf Club, Harrington, 41, voiced his opposition to the controversial putting method, which may be outlawed in a matter of weeks by the USGA and R&A if a proposed ban on it goes through.

Harrington said he hopes that happens.

“For the game, I definitely don’t agree with anchoring at all,” he said.

Funny thing was, he’d just wrapped up his opening round at the Wells Fargo Championship, where he used an anchored stroke for the first time in competition.

“I think it’s bad for the game of golf,” Harrington said. “[But] I’m going to use everything, if something’s going to help me for the next three and a half years, I’m going to use it.”

Harrington’s comments echoed those of Ernie Els last year after Els won the British Open with the aid of a belly putter.

“Nothing should be anchored to your body and I still believe that,” Els said. “But as long as it’s legal, I will keep cheating like the rest of them.”

Late last fall, the USGA and R&A issued a joint proposal to ban anchored strokes. The organizations are expected to come to a final decision on the matter this summer, though the ban, if approved, would not go into effect until 2016.

So whatever happens, Harrington will have plenty of time to perfect his anchored stroke and his rationalization for using it.

For now, it seems, he needs work on the former.

In Thursday’s opening round, Harrington shot 80, with 32 putts. On Friday, he shot a 75 and missed the cut.

(Photo: Nell Redmond/AP)

April 23, 2013

Padraig Harrington's 'Golf Swing Shirt' looks like a straitjacket

Posted at 4:12 PM by Josh Sens

Good news, bad news for Padraig Harrington.

After going through four laser surgeries and more sets of eyewear than Moe Greene, the Irishman appears to have resolved his vision problems.

But now come concerns about his mental health.

Witness this alarming YouTube video of the three-time major champion wrapped in a straitjacket, ready to be whisked away by men in white.

Wait. I take that back.

On closer look, it’s a new commercial that shows Harrington stumping for something called the Golf Swing Shirt, a product that he hails as the “best swing trainer ever invented.”

A relentless tinkerer, Harrington knows what it takes to stay connected---arms and shoulders working in unison---and apparently he’s found it in this snug-fitting adornment, which looks like it was snatched from the wardrobe trailer of "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest."

Harrington swears it works.

The Golf Swing Shirt, I mean. Not what they did to poor Randle McMurphy.

Either way, maybe the real lesson here is this: play golf long enough, and it’ll drive you crazy.

Paddy Harrington, meet paddy wagon.

From the golf course to the rubber room.

April 12, 2013

Duval says Tiger, Furyk, Harrington are slow players

Posted at 6:27 PM by Mike Walker

He named names!

2001 British Open champion David Duval took to Twitter on Friday after Tianling Guan was penalized one stroke for slow play during the second round of the Masters. Duval said it was unfortunate that Guan received the penalty because there are many other slow-playing professional golfers, including Tiger Woods and Jim Furyk.

Guan's penalty might have caused the 14-year-old from China to miss the cut. He shot 73 on Thursday and 75 on Friday, leaving him at 4-over for the tournament. The top 50 and all players within 10 strokes of the lead play the weekend.














Once ranked No. 1 in the world, Duval, 41, is not in the field at the Masters this week; he's missed the cut in all four of his PGA Tour starts this season.

February 03, 2013

They Said It! Top 10 Quotes of the Week for Phoenix Open

Posted at 12:58 AM by Mike Walker

Tiger_quote1. "It was just so friggin' slow. We played just over three hours and nine holes, and three of them are par threes. It's like, come on, you know. I started losing my patience a little bit."

--Tiger Woods on the slow pace of play in his final round Monday at Farmer Insurance Open


Garrigus_quote2. “I ate at the golf course with my wife and my son, the guy drove us to the private airport, took off at 1:10, flew to the Phoenix airport, got in my car, drove home, unpacked kind of, like chucked my suitcases in the closet, sat down, turned the TV on and Tiger is on 17. And I was like, ‘Wow, is he pissed right now.’”

--Robert Garrigus on playing in the Farmers Insurance Open in the morning and arriving in Phoenix before it ended


Vijay_quote3. “I’m guessing that Vijay Singh doesn’t know the product has been called out by the PGA Tour specifically.”

--Sports Illustrated’s David Epstein on the magazine’s story about how Singh had used deer-antler spray, which contains a substance banned by the PGA Tour.




4. “You have to be careful about what you take. I try not to take anything now, really, other than Corona and vodka.''

--Lee Westwood on Vijay Singh’s deer antler spray




5. “As much as we spend all our time trying to be consistent, it's the inconsistent wins that are probably the most important thing.”

--Padraig Harrington at the Phoenix Open





6. “There's a big barrier, a Berlin Wall barrier, between 59 and 60.”

--Phil Mickelson after his putt for 59 just lipped out in first round of the Phoenix Open





7. “Obviously the golf gods giveth and they taketh away, so there you have it.”

-- Jim "Bones" Mackay, Mickelson’s caddie, on the missed putt for 59




8. “Golf needs a younger and more athletic image, and Nike has always had that. I'm young enough. I'm not sure I'm athletic enough. But I'll try!"

--Rory McIlroy on his endorsement deal with Nike



Sergio_quote9. “Unfortunately, we started making birdies and eagles, and I thought, ‘Well, what do we do now?’”

 --Sergio Garcia on making four birdies and an eagle on the front nine when he was considering withdrawing from the Omega Dubai Classic with a sore shoulder




10. "I tried to get him to play."

-- Caddie Joe LaCava on his boss Tiger Woods not playing the Northern Trust Open at Riviera this year

February 02, 2013

Padraig Harrington kicks a field goal at Phoenix Open's par-3 16th

Posted at 10:20 PM by

Besides the golf clubs, there's another benefit for Padraig Harrington being sponsored by Wilson -- free footballs. Harrington shared some pig skins with the fans at No. 16 Saturday by kicking a field goal and punting footballs into the stands. Is there still time to get him suited up for the 49ers or Ravens?

RELATED GALLERY: Crazy fans at par-3 16th

RELATED VIDEO: Mickelson almost aces 16

RELATED VIDEO: Caddies race, stumble and fall

January 11, 2013

They Said It! Top 10 Quotes of the Week for Jan. 11, 2013

Posted at 2:46 PM by Mike Walker

Furyk1. “I’m going to have to stick a knife in my heart at the end of this.”

Jim Furyk, discussing his painful losses in 2012 in the February issue of Golf Magazine



Tiger2. “Tiger Woods demands $3 million just for an appearance, if he were to compete in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters -- which is not worth paying for a tournament of $2.5 million prize money.”

Hassan al Nuaimi, president of the Qatar Golf Association


Keith3. "That's a ten-stroke f---ing penalty, and if you ever do it again I'll do the same to you!"

Keith Richards, after shooting a golf ball that landed in his breakfast, according to a new book by Stones saxophone player Bobby Keys



Paddy4."I'll still be playing competitive golf
when I'm 70."

Padraig Harrington, at the Volvo Champions in South Africa




5. “They should put a plaque down. I was coming from a different ZIP code. And I’ve got to compete against these animals!”

Ernie Els, after playing partner Nicolas Colsaerts hit a 419-yard drive at the Volvo Champions in South Africa


Marino6. “The guy is like a God over there
in Scotland.”

Steve Marino, on playing with Tom Watson in the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry



Jamiefarr7. “I will always appreciate the loyal and generous support of our faithful sponsors, volunteers, fans, media and LPGA golf professionals and I extend a special thanks to all of them.”

Actor Jamie Farr, on stepping down as host of the Jamie Farr Toledo Classic LPGA Tour event after 28 years


Monty8. "I've never canvassed, as I didn't last time. I've not spoken to anybody about this. But I've always felt that if I was asked I would do it and that's still the case."

Colin Montgomerie, on his interest in being captain of the 2014 European Ryder Cup team


Keegan9. "He's in my ear the whole way,
telling me I suck, telling me I'm going to choke."

Keegan Bradley, on beating Michael Jordan at golf




Finchem10. “From an image standpoint, I like the way Rory handles himself off the golf course.”

PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem, on Rory McIlroy’s breakout season in 2012

Truth & Rumors: Padraig Harrington has 'massive sympathy' for Rory McIlroy over Olympic dilemma

Posted at 1:03 PM by Samantha Glover

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy has a unique choice heading into the 2016 Olympics; he can either compete under the flag of Ireland or Great Britain in Rio, a decision unfortunately fraught with controversy in a country still recovering from decades of sectarian conflict.

Irishman Padraig Harrington spoke about Rory McIlroy's Olympic dilemma during a press conference for this week's Volvo Golf Champions event.

“I have massive sympathy as an Irishman and massive sympathy more so as a sportsman,” said the three-times major winner of the situation. “No sportsman should have to make that decision. That’s it, straightforward – nobody at 23 years of age should be asked to make that decision.

After avoiding questions about who he will play for in 2016, World No. 1 McIlroy spoke out in a recent BBC documentary, stating that rather than disappoint fans from either Great Britain or Ireland, he is considering skipping the games altogether.

Harrington went on to say that McIlroy's absence from the game would be a detriment to golf's chances of becoming a permanent event, according to Martin Dempster's report for the Scotsman.

“It’s very unfortunate and I think it is unfortunate in the sense that it means a great deal for golf for him [McIlroy] to play. It’s a very big deal because golf is only on a trial period in the Olympics.

“We have two runs at it and, as golfers, we do have to perform and put our best foot forward, so it would be nice if the world number one is there and he’s supporting the event. It’s an extraordinarily difficult decision. We need our best players to play in the Olympics to show that golf is serious in the Olympics.”

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